Kaunda on churches and the life of nations:

We need the uncommitted [Kaunda is referring to intellectuals not employed by the state or by a political party] intellectual whose mind is able to range widely and to occupy himself with ideas which though not immediately germane to the business of nation-building stimulate free thought and dialogue on every matter of human concern. I would expect such cross-fertilization of ideas to come from two directions, our institutions of higher learning and the Churches. In particular, the Ministry of the Churches comprises the largest single group of uncommitted intellectuals, charged by the Gospel they proclaim to deal with ultimate questions and by definition required to see society in the widest possible context—against the unchanging Laws of God.

Let me be frank and state that I am disappointed in the failure of the clergy, with certain exceptions, to discharge this prophetic function. Is not a disproportionate amount of their time and intellectual talent solely devoted to matters of domestic ecclesiastical concern? Would it be unkind of me to say that many of the clergy have completely shut themselves off from the ongoing life of our nation and argue endlessly about the jot and tittle of the Law; theological niceties equally irrelevant to the salvation of the individual soul and the soul of the society?

As a humble Christian, I am saddened that so much of the Church’s intellectual talent is unavailable to stimulate and challenge our society. Both our Government and nation need to have kept before them the moral and spiritual standards against which we should measure our policies and actions. But we want only the best the Church is capable of giving us, not tired cliches or parrot-like repetition which are an insult to our intelligence. Never has the Church had a more wonderful opportunity to be a relevant and effective spiritual and moral force than it has in these newly established States where men are hungry for the truth. But the tragedy is that many of the uncommitted intellectuals in the Church are also unengaged; their talents and time turned inwards upon their own life, giving the impression of a Christian Church which is a powerful engine, running at top speed, but driving nothing.

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Posted by Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).